Magnetic susceptibilities of minerals

Open-File Report 99-529




Magnetic separation of minerals is a topic that is seldom reported in the literature for two reasons. First, separation data generally are byproducts of other projects; and second, this study requires a large amount of patience and is unusually tedious. Indeed, we suspect that most minerals probably are never investigated for this property. These data are timesaving for mineralogists who concentrate mono-mineralic fractions for chemical analysis, age dating, and for other purposes. The data can certainly be used in the ore-beneficiation industries. In some instances, magnetic-susceptibility data may help in mineral identification, where other information is insufficient. In past studies of magnetic separation of minerals, (Gaudin and Spedden, 1943; Tille and Kirkpatrick, 1956; Rosenblum, 1958; Rubinstein and others, 1958; Flinter, 1959; Hess, 1959; Baker, 1962; Meric and Peyre, 1963; Rojas and others, 1965; and Duchesne, 1966), the emphasis has been on the ferromagnetic and paramagnetic ranges of extraction. For readers interested in the history of magnetic separation of minerals, Krumbein and Pettijohn (1938, p. 344-346) indicated nine references back to 1848. The primary purpose of this paper is to report the magnetic-susceptibility data on as many minerals as possible, similar to tables of hardness, specific gravity, refractive indices, and other basic physical properties of minerals. A secondary purpose is to demonstrate that the total and best extraction ranges are influenced by the chemistry of the minerals. The following notes are offered to help avoid problems in separating a desired mineral concentrate from mixtures of mineral grains.

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USGS Numbered Series
Magnetic susceptibilities of minerals
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
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37 p.